Spring Flower Tour - Central Route (Code SP05) A 6 day tour

 

It is worth mentioning that the Namaqualand Spring flowers are by no means a guaranteed phenomenon. The flowering of the sometimes masses of spring flowers in an endless profusion of colours and scents is something we all want to see but this phenomenon is reliant on the timorous arrival of the late winter to early spring rains and the non-arrival of the hot, dry Berg winds that can sweep down from the north drying out and desiccating the new growth and buds of the myriad of annuals and perennial flowering shrubs. 

We do whatever we can to find the flowers using modern technology as well as the all-important local knowledge of the folks on the ground. It is never guaranteed but when it is does, as it so often happens, it is so spectacular that it will remain with you forever.   

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The spring flowers only open on warm sun filled days with a minimum temperature of around 17 degrees centigrade. This is the same temperature that is needed for the bees to become active. The result of this phenomenon is that it is really only worthwhile starting to look for the flowers from around 9 o’clock in the morning. This also gives us a good time to get to the most favourable areas before optimum conditions prevail. The flowers generally start to close up again from around 4 to 4.30 pm depending on the daily temperatures and hours of sunlight.

 

m_dscn3935.jpgDay 1, Night 1

Port Elizabeth – Oudtshoorn 

Pick up from your place of residence in Port Elizabeth.

Setting out west along the N2 we branch off after approximately 100 km’s onto the R62 (Route 62) through the Langkloof, a picturesque, long and wide valley renowned for its deciduous fruit and neatly laid out orchards and worked by the colourful decedents of the Khoikhoi and local farmers.

If spring is the season of the fruit tree blossoms then we might just be in time to see the orchards at their very best decked out in their spring whites and pinks. Keep an eye out for the occasional field of Watsonia’s in bloom as we head into the interior.   This route has a number of farm stalls and places of interest where we can stop if time allows. Lunch on the road

We finally leave the R62 to turn north, and arriving in the Little Karoo after traveling over a low range of mountains. As we enter the open plains we will increasingly come across many ostrich farms something our first overnight stop is world famous for and is known as the Ostrich capital of the world.

Oudtshoorn was founded on the back of the booming Ostrich feather fashion industry when it became high fashion for ladies to where intricate feather hats topped with the ostrich plumes and convoluted feather boas around their necks and shoulders. It has been said that a single fine feather could pay for one’s passage back to England. Good old days that came to the end with the advent of the motor car and the First World War.

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Here we check into our comfortable accommodation for the night, take our evening meal at one of m_dscn1161_copy.jpgthe many fine restaurants in town and get a peaceful nights rest in the healthy atmosphere

provided by the Karoo.


Overnight guesthouse, lunch, dinner, bed and breakfast



Day 2, Night 2

Oudtshoorn – Darling

We wake early for a hearty breakfast before checking out and packing up as we continue west after re- joining the R62. We pass through Calitzdorp the centre of the fortified wine industry with the excellent Ports and Sherries produced and available at their vineyards.

On to Montague and country farms stalls bulging with dried fruit and sweet Raisins. Here we cross through stunning mountain scenery as we drive in the shadows of the Langeberg and Waboomsberg mountain ranges.

This is the heart of the South African wine and fruit producing country, on through to Worcester in the Hex river valley at the base of the looming peaks of the Hex river mountains the second tallest in the country and finally dropping down to the coastal lowlands as we head for the small centre of Darling for our overnight accommodation, a superb meal and a refreshing night sleep, after a long day in this eclectic little town

Overnight guesthouse, lunch, dinner, bed and breakfast


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Day 3, Night 3

Darling – Paternoster

Darling is a small somewhat historic centre situated about 20 kilometres from the West coast national Park, it is an interesting centre of the arts and it is here that the South African satirist Pieter Dirk Uys performs many of his shows as Evita Bezuidenhout at Eva Perron a cabaret venue in the town.

We wake early for a hearty breakfast before taking to discover the secrets of Darling before heading out to the West Coast National Park to see what flowers can be found in this little gem of a national park situated on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.

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We continue our travels onto Langebaan lagoon where take lunch at an outdoor seafood restaurant on the sandy beach overlooking the deep blue of the lagoon.

After a traditional lunch we set out further north searching for flowers along the way as we make for our next overnight stop at a quaint fishing village on the West coast.

On arrival we check in and make our way to one of the local restaurants for our evening meal before returning to our accommodation and a peaceful nights rest

Overnight guesthouse, lunch, dinner, bed and breakfast

 

m_dscn096540.jpgDay 4, Night 4

Paternoster – Nieuwoudtville

Armed with local knowledge we depart to explore the area to locate where the best flowers in the region can be found. Stopping along the way to admire what the bounty of spring has provided us with whilst traversing the Highways and byways of this picturesque area.

We continue north with the aim of visiting Clanwilliam a small west coast centre where they hold the annual spring flower show in the local N.G. Kerk (Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk [Church])

This is a stunning display of indigenous flowers collected and displayed by the communities of the Clanwilliam.

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After visiting this special event we continue traveling north, entering Namaqualand and making our way to our up and onto the escarpment to our overnight accommodation on a guest farm outside Nieuwoudtville.

Overnight guesthouse, lunch, dinner, bed and breakfast

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Day 5, Night 5

Nieuwoudtville – Beaufort West

After a full breakfast we check out and pack up before heading back away from Namaqualand as we start our return journey, traveling east into the interior of the country through the Great Karoo, that dry hot place so named by the early Khoikhoi people and once inhabited by the hardy and resilient Bushmen.

m_dscn117854.jpgHere the spectacle of the spring flowers gives way to flowering Karoo bossies (small Karroid shrubs) that spread like a threadbare carpet over the arid plains that are so characteristically interrupted by flat topped mountains and hills.

Relief from the long, often dead straight roads are at times provided by small typical Karoo towns and welcome roadside farm stalls which with enough time we are able to visit.

m_dscn110221.jpgWe stop for lunch along the way before making for our final overnight accommodation stop, in the very heart of the Great Karoo, Beaufort West.

On arrival we check into our historical guesthouse / lodge overlooking the vast plains of the Karoo and if time allows take a walk in the veld (field) to breath the fresh Karoo air, do some game spotting from the slopes and some bird watching.

We meet up back in the lodge dining room for a delicious; Karoo flavoured evening meal before a peaceful nights rest in this quite place in the Karoo.

Overnight guesthouse, lunch, dinner, bed and breakfast

 

Day 6

Beaufort West – Port Elizabeth

After a hearty Karoo breakfast we drive south leaving the Great Karoo behind us and making our way through the little Karoo towards Port Elizabeth, with memories and lots of photographs of our Namaqualand Spring Flower Tour.

m_dscn0935_copy.jpgOvernight guesthouse, lunch, dinner, bed and breakfast

 

A minimum of 2 people is required, maximum 6 persons in the tour vehicle

Rates on request

Price on request for bigger groups

 

Tour includes:

  • 6 days professional guided tour
  • 5 nights sharing accommodation as per itinerary
  • Tour vehicle, professional tour guide-driver and fuel
  • Entrance/conservation fees
    • West Coast National Park
    • Clanwilliam Flower Show
  • Meals as per itinerary
  • Bottled water in the tour vehicle
  • Toll fees

 

Tour excludes:

  • Bar bills
  • Activities not mentioned in above
  • Private shopping
  • gratuities

 

 

Alan Tours reserves the right to change routes due to availability of accommodation and weather and/or where flowers may be located.

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